Malware – Clear and Present Danger
Asia Digital Alliance
A report written by the Asia Digital Alliance about the piracy/malware nexus, particularly as it relates to the Asia Pacific Region.
ISD Briefing Document
Produced by CASBAA, the Motion Picture Association of America and Sky, this report gives a general overview of Illicit Streaming Devices.
Promoting Online Safety and Protecting Brand Integrity – Report on Top 50 Piracy Sites in Vietnam
Vietnam Content Alliance
This report was produced by the Vietnam Content Alliance and advertising assurance agency, Veri-Site. The report identifies the 50 most popular piracy websites in Vietnam, and analyses ad delivery entity support and advertiser composition on these sites. This is the second version of the report.
Cracking Down on Digital Piracy – FACT Report
This report produced by FACT, the UK’s leading intellectual property protection organisation, provides an overview of digital piracy, and how it is carried out in the UK and around the rest of the world.
Online Piracy Sites Draw $227 Million in Annual Ad Revenue
Content theft sites pushing pirated movies, music and TV programmes made nearly a quarter of a billion dollars last year from advertising, according to a new study from the Digital Citizens Alliance.
The report, Good Money Gone Bad: Digital Thieves and the Hijacking of the Online Ad Business, found that the 30 largest piracy sites each stand to make more than $4 million a year in ad revenue.
“Ad Awareness” in Asia
The newest reports in the Asian series of examinations of advertising support for online piracy in selected markets have been published.
Warning: while the most graphic images have been blacked out, reports may quote pirate websites’ use of obscene language and images; sensitive users are duly advised.
Everything’s Moving Online
US Trade Representative
The US Trade Representative published its annual report on notorious piracy markets, and the report continues a shift toward greater emphasis on online piracy websites. The 2014 list reflects nominations of sites that engage in copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting as well as registrars that facilitate the distribution of pirated and counterfeit products, including medicines.
In earlier years, the report focused entirely on physical markets, but now, USTR noted, “The internet has brought about a global revolution in the authorised and unauthorised distribution of films, music, software, video games, and books. In many markets, unauthorised online distribution of, or access to, copyright-protected content largely has replaced unauthorised distribution via physical media”. The report focuses on both virtual and physical marketplaces. Interestingly, USTR observed that this year it “received fewer nominations for physical markets than in the past”.
Asia comes in for discussion in several places. Physical markets in Thailand, India and Indonesia are listed, along with websites in China and Vietnam. The biggest attention is focused, not surprisingly, on China: “several of the nominations identified China as the primary source of counterfeit products. Worldwide, from the Americas, to Africa, to Eastern Europe, and in Southeast Asia, Chinese-origin counterfeit goods find their way into markets, businesses, and homes”.
Online Advertising Support for Piracy Growing
CASBAA presented an overview of the development of online advertising support for piracy in Asian markets to the annual meeting of the Copyright Committee of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union.
Can Court Injunctions be Effective Against Online Piracy
Along with CASBAA members, companies in other parts of the world are coping with quantum leaps in piracy of television content. A relatively small number of highly profitable pirate websites play an important role in building and promoting the pirate eco-system, and European courts have recently found justification to order blocking of some of these sites. In a legal info-sharing webinar, eminent legal practitioners from Europe gave CASBAA members a bit of the history and described current developments in judicial site blocking injunctions.
Papers & Submissions
Understanding Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs)
CASBAA provides a brief summary on understanding how Illicit Streaming Devices (ISDs) operate, a major issue in the Asia Pacific TV industry. ISD delivery of content through illegitimate means is highly damaging to creative industries. Devices that receive streamed content are illegally distributed without authorisation from rights-holder and therefore violate a number of copyright laws.
The paper provides a breakdown on the different features of illicit streaming servers and how they can be distinguished from legitimate TV devices.
Intellectual Property in Broadcasting – Annual US Review
CASBAA’s submission to this year’s intellectual property review by the US Trade Representative documents an ongoing decline in IP protection in many Asian markets – due directly to mushrooming piracy as broadband networks are built out. Among other issues, the submission comments on:
- The Chinese IT industry’s supportive role in global TV piracy
- Hong Kong’s decline from being an IP policy leader, as even modest attempts to improve copyright legislation flounder
- India’s efforts to use cable digitisation to repress cable piracy
- Indonesian issues on piracy as well as market access
- Failure of Thailand’s new copyright law to make any impact on online piracy
Discussion Papers by Mike Weatherley, MP
During the CASBAA Convention 2014, Mike Weatherley, Conservative MP for Hove and Portslade, UK Parliament and former Intellectual Property Advisor to the Prime Minister was featured in an “in Conversation” session discussing copyright protection. As the Intellectual Property Adviser to the UK Prime Minister, Weatherley was charged with leading the British government’s efforts at fighting piracy and raising awareness of IPR. Formerly the Vice President (Europe) for the Motion Picture Licensing Company, Weatherley is bringing his media industry experience to bear on the piracy problem, raising awareness in innovative ways.
To find out more about his viewpoints and recommendations, download the series of discussion papers below.
CASBAA Lauds Singapore Proposal for Court Injunctions Against Pirate Websites
Responding to a consultation paper from the Singapore Ministry of Law, CASBAA “warmly welcomed” proposals to empower courts to issue injunctions that would prohibit Singaporeans from accessing the most egregious pirate websites. The steps are badly needed, CASBAA said, as “the rapid growth of flagrantly infringing websites in recent years has eroded the business of the pay TV industry”. Legitimate content providers trying to serve the Singapore market – online and offline – are “impeded by competition from unregulated, untaxed offshore pirate websites that pay nothing to creators, artists, writers, musicians, and all the people who make the industry function”. The Association hoped for early enactment and bringing into operation of the new judicial enforcement mechanism.
4 July 2013
Broadband TV News
Pirate cable operator in Sweden fined US$1.8 million
A Swedish man has been ordered to pay SEK12 million (€1.38 million) in damages to four pay TV companies after been founding guilty of possession of pirate TV decoders.
23 June 2013
Broadband TV News
Arab ‘pirate’ TV stations taken off air
Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat has removed two Arab TV stations that allegedly broadcast pirated content.
18 June 2013
More pay TV piracy arrests in Greece
Continued efforts by the police electronic crime prosecution departments in Greece and Cyprus have resulted in twelve more cases involving piracy of pay TV satellite services. These were heard before the Public Prosecutor and criminal prosecutions have been initiated against the defendents.
17 June 2013
Pirate Website Busted in California
Three brothers from Northern California have been charged with operating an illegal website which offered pirated streaming of popular TV shows and movies. They face up to five years in prison. The State Attorney General’s Office confirmed that Hop Hoang and his brothers, Tony Hoang and Huynh Hoang, were arraigned on multiple counts each, including grand theft, conspiracy and receiving stolen property.
US Pay TV Piracy Gets Korean Businessman US$28 million Fine
Anti-piracy website satscams.com reports that a US court in San Diego has ordered Korean businessman Soo Jong Yeo and his company Vicxon Corp fined US$28 million for shipping internet-key-sharing boxes to the USA. The case was brought by North American pay TV provider Dish Network/Echostar, whose programme bouquet could be intercepted by the key-sharing devices. It was a follow-on to a 2012 decision which already saw the US leaders of this piracy conspiracy fined $64 million, bringing the total fines in this set of cases to $92 million.
The legal reasoning in these case was interesting: the court recorded violations of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits marketing, importing, distributing etc of circumvention devices, components, software or technology. And it said that the fact that the set-top-boxes in question might theoretically have been used to receive satellite FTA programming was not relevant. “Downstream customers’ lawful or fair use of circumvention devices does not relieve [the defendent] from liability for trafficking of such devices under DMCA”, because the “receiver and iHub have several firmware and hardware components that serve limited or no legitimate purpose other than circumvention of DISH Network’s security system”. The fine was calculated by reference to the DMCA’s minimum statutory damages of US$200 per violation. (At least several hundred thousand pirate boxes were imported and sold by the conspirators.)
Unfortunately, a simple internet search still reveals many current offers for the same piracy equipment on China-based internet sales sites, all specifying they are for shipment to the USA. The import ring may have been busted in the USA, but the China piracy export machine chugs ahead … no doubt with profits to the Korean owners!